GB2464519A - Control of handoff / cell re-selection in a mobile radio network - Google Patents

Control of handoff / cell re-selection in a mobile radio network Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2464519A
GB2464519A GB0819155A GB0819155A GB2464519A GB 2464519 A GB2464519 A GB 2464519A GB 0819155 A GB0819155 A GB 0819155A GB 0819155 A GB0819155 A GB 0819155A GB 2464519 A GB2464519 A GB 2464519A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
cell
device
reselection
measurement
characteristic
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB0819155A
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GB0819155D0 (en
Inventor
Ajay Vachhani
Jon Van Orden
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NEC Corp
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NEC Corp
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Publication date
Application filed by NEC Corp filed Critical NEC Corp
Priority to GB0819155A priority Critical patent/GB2464519A/en
Publication of GB0819155D0 publication Critical patent/GB0819155D0/en
Publication of GB2464519A publication Critical patent/GB2464519A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W48/00Access restriction; Network selection; Access point selection
    • H04W48/20Selecting an access point
    • H04Q7/3853
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W36/00Hand-off or reselection arrangements
    • H04W36/04Reselecting a cell layer in multi-layered cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W36/00Hand-off or reselection arrangements
    • H04W36/24Reselection being triggered by specific parameters used to improve the performance of a single terminal
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W24/00Supervisory, monitoring or testing arrangements
    • H04W24/10Scheduling measurement reports ; Arrangements for measurement reports

Abstract

A radio mobile communication device is arranged for handoff to a neighbouring cell. The device employs one of a plurality of measurement qualities as part of the cell selection procedure, the measurement quality employed being selected responsive to a characteristic of the neighbouring cell, such that the device can employ different measurement qualities for different types of neighbouring cells, such as cellular, WLAN, etc.

Description

Cell Reselection Method and Apparatus The present invention relates to cellular communication networks and to procedures and related devices for achieving cell reselection, In particular, but not exclusively, the invention relates to possible reselection to a FemtoceU.

Cell Reselection for a mobile radio communications device User equipment (UE) operating within a cellular network comprises an important capability offering many advantages to both the user, and the network operator, and having regard in particular to load-management and continuity of service.

It can therefore been seen as important to achieve efficient, reliable and accurate cell reselection as and when candidate neighbouring cells are available.

Current reselection procedures involve measurement techniques that employ a measurement quantity but which exhibit disadvantages which serve to limit, and possibly prevent, reselection to the most appropriate neighbouring cell.

A requirement for accurate and efficient reselection procedures becomes particularly acute when a candidate neighbouring cell for reselection comprises a Femtocell.

As will be appreciated. Femtocells are defined by low-power, small local base stations, and generally employed to provide local radio coverage within, for example, a residential environment, a dead zone such as where no macro cell coverage is available, WIFi-type hot spots and also small-to-medium enterprise environments.

For example, insofar as 3G Macro Cells operate on high frequendes in the range of 2GHz -3GHz, it is appreciated that they offer poor coverage/signal strength within buildings. Poor wall penetration, and the higher absorption characteristics, at such higher frequencies limit performance in this manner. Such poor "in-building" performance leads to small area within marco cell coverage where limited, or indeed no-coverage, is available.

The provision of Femtocells can therefore prove advantageous in effectively filling-in the gaps that such in-building environments can define within the macro cell environment.

A further advantage that arises from employing Femtocells is that they can assist the overall performance within the macro cell environment by effectively reducing the load on the macro cell infrastructure. Thus the use of Femtocells provides a mechanism for dealing with poor coverage issues, whilst also offering potential benefits such as increased capacity on the macro cell, and for the ready commercial provision of bundled services, such as: DSL Broadband and Mobile Phone services.

Femtocells also appear attractive to an end user in so far as much more cost effective mobile voice and data calls can be made, while also experiencing improved domestic coverage.

Reselection to a Femtocell for example in poor coverage environments is therefore an attractive proposition, and so such cells will then compete with other neighbouring cells, both Femto or Macro, during such reselection procedures.

With regard to deployment, it will be appreciated that such Femtocells can be operated with various different operational characteristics, for example, whether on the same, or different, carrier frequency as the neighbouring macro cell(s).

The present invention seeks to provide for a reselection procedure and related apparatus having the advantages over known such reselection procedures and apparatus.

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mobile radio communications device for use in a ceUular network and arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell as required, the device being a arranged to employ one of a plurality of measurement qualities as part of a cell-reselection procedure, wherein the measurement quantity employed is selected responsive to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell, such that the device can employ different measurement quantities for different neighbouring cells.

As will be appreciated, the present invention is advantages insofar as the reselection procedure is not now limited to a single measurement quantity. On this basis a more accurate, reliable and efficient reselection procedure can be conducted and which advantageously increases the likelihood of selecting to a desirable cell, whether a Femtocell or otherwise.

Advantageously the device can be arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell comprising a Femtocell.

The measurement quantity can comprise the received signal power code.

In addition, the aforesaid measurement quantity can comprise the Ec/No ratio.

Further, the said characteristic can comprise frequency of operation and, in particular, whether or not the neighbouring cell is operating on the same frequency as the current cell, Further, the device can be arranged such that the said one of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed subsequent to receipt of respective signal for each respective characteristic. Advantageously, the said signalling can comprise an information block or information element.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a cell-reselection method for use in a cellular network and including the step of initiating one of a plurality of measurement quantities for controlling reselection to a neighbouring cell, the measurement quantity employed being selected responsive to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell so as to allow for the use of different measurement quantities for different neighbouring cells.

As before, the device can be arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell comprising a Femtocell.

The measurement quantity can again comprise the received signal power code.

Also, the aforesaid measurement quantity can comprise the Ec/No ratio. Further, the said characteristic can comprise frequency of operation and, in particular, whether or not the neighbouring cell is operating on the same frequency as the current cell.

The device can also be arranged such that the said one of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed subsequent to receipt of respective signal for each respective characteristic.

Advantageously, the said signalling can comprise an information block or information element.

According to still another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a cellular communications network device arranged for communication within a mobile radio communications device within the network and for reseledion of the mobile radio communication device to a neighbouring cell as required, the network device being arranged to provide control signaUing to the mobile radio communications device to determine which of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed as part of a cell reselection procedure and having regard to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell such that the mobile radio communications device can employ different measurement quantities for different neighbouring cells.

Advantageously the device can be arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell comprising a Femtocell.

The measurement quantity can comprise the received signal power code.

In addition, the aforesaid measurement quantity can comprise the Ec/No ratio.

Further, the said characteristic can comprise frequency of operation and, in particular, whether or not the neighbouring cell is operating on the same frequency as the current cell.

Further, the device can be arranged such that the said one of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed subsequent to receipt of respective signal for each respective characteristic.

As noted, the said signalling can comprise an information block or an information element.

The present invention can also provide for a signalling message for cell reselection of a mobile radio communications device to a neighbouring cell in a cellular network, the message being arranged for delivery to the mobile radio communications device to initiate use of a measurement quantity as part of the reselection procedure having regard to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell, wherein the signalling message includes separate discrete portions for each different characteristic.

As will be appreciated, the signalling message can comprise an information block or an information element.

I should be appreciated that the present invention is applicable for all 3G access point configurations, as such as home gateway solution for such a FemtoceU for such home NOodeB/ENodeB.

The invention is described further in after, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Fig I is a schematic representation of Femtocell architecture for use in accordance with the present invention; Fig 2 is a flow diagram relating to a cell reselection procedure as known in the current art: Fig 3 is a flow diagram relating to the cell reselection procedure according to an embodiment of the present invention; Fig 4 is an illustration of an information element within signalling messaging according to the current art; Fig 5 is an illustration of similar signalling but arising in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and Fig 6 is a schematic representation of a mobile radio communications device arranged for operation in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention As will be appreciated, the following discussion of an embodiment of the present invention relates particularly to the possibility for cell reselection from a 3G macrocell to FemtoceU. However it should be appreciated that the present invention is in now way restricted to such reselection procedures.

As further background information relating to invention however, when the operational characteristic of cell for reselection purposes comprises, for example, frequency and the UE is within a macrocell, it is generaHy arranged to perform a neighbouring-cell measurement when the current serving macrocell degrades in quality. Neighbouring cells can be operating on the same, or different, frequency as that of the serving macrocell.

There are generally two types of measurement quantities which the UE can employ and each of which is generally initiated by the network and generally required by the network to measure either one of them.

The first measurement quantity is the Received Signal Code Power -RSCP.

The second can comprise the ratio EC/No.

The ratio Ec/No is derived from the value for the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and which is defined as the received wide band power including thermal noise and noise genetted within the receiver and within the bandwidth defined by the receiver.

As will be appreciated, the value RSCP comprises the received power on a particular code (i.e. scrambling code) and as measured on the primary CPICH of the cell.

The ratio Ec/No can therefore be defined as RSCP/carrier RSSI.

As previously noted, the UE is required to measure the requested measurement quantity which will either comprise the RSCP or the ratio Ec/No for all neighbouring cells in respect of which selection might be attempted.

As is currently known the network/cell cannot request that the UE perform measurements based on different measurement quantities for cells having different characteristics. That is, the network/cell, simply requests the UE to perform one measurement quantity such as Ec/No for intra-frequency cells (i.e. between cells operating on the same frequency) and another quantity, for example, RSCP, for inter-frequency cell measurements (i.e. for cells operating in accordance with different frequencies).

It will be appreciated that such known current operation is disadvantageously limiting since only one measurement quantity will be employed and, in some instances, the said one measurement quantity chosen will not be the most appropriate choice. A potentially attractive/advantageous cel 1-reselection procedure might not therefore be identified.

This is explained further below.

If, for example, a Femtocell is operating on the same frequency as a macrocell, then it is far easier and feasible for a UE to consider the Femtocell as a candidate cell for reselection. It will be appreciated that it is readily possible to trigger a desirable cell reselection procedure irrespective of whether the measurement quantity employed is RSCP of Ec/No. That is, as the UE enters within the walls of a building, there will be a noted reduction of RSCP in view of the high absorptions for the macro cell signal such that, by comparison, the Femtocell will become readily identifiable as a good candidate for cell reselection.

Insofar as the Femtocell and the serving macro cell are both operating on the same frequency, the respective RSSI values will remain high due to the interference offered by the Femtocell operating on that same frequency as the macro cell such that, if a measurement quantity is the ratio Ec/No, this likewise is reduced for the macro cell since the RSSI value holds up, while the RSCP value decreases.

Thus, the attractive Femtocell can be readily discernable as compared with the macro cell irrespective of whether the measurement quantity comprises RSCP or the ratio Ec/No.

if, however, the Femtocefl is arranged to operate on a different carrier frequency from that of the macro cell, the accuracy of cell reselection differs markedly from the scenario noted above.

If the measurement quantity comprises RSCP, it will still be readily recognised that the signal strength from the macro cell has deteriorated such that the Femtocell is readily unidentifiable as an attractive candidate cell for reselection purposes.

However, if the measurement of quantity employed is Ec/No, it becomes difficult for the UE to trigger a cell reselection procedure to the Femtocell because no difference between the macro cell and Femtocell can be readily identified.

While the value of RSCP deteriorates, it will be appreciated that, in view of the different operational frequencies, the value of RSSI for the serving macro cell likewise deteriorates (since it is not enhanced by the Femtocell since this is not operating in the same frequency) such that the general ratio Ec/No remains substantially the same and so the macro cell remains as potentially attractive as the Femtocell.

Thus, whilst for all the advantages discussed above, reselection to the Femtocell will be desirable, this will not necessarily be achieved through use of Ec/No as the measurement quantity.

As would be appreciated, and with regard to the particular illustrated embodiment of the present invention, this embodiment advantageously proposes use of different measurement quantities for intra and inter frequency neighbouring-cell measurements by the UE and so as to increase the extent to which reselection from a macro cell to a Femtocell can be achieved in a trouble-free manner.

Turning now to Fig.1 there is illustrated a general Femtocell architecture 10 in which a Femtocell 12 is provided for operation in accordance with an operator's core network 14.

The Femptocell employs a wireless access point 16 allowing for connectivity to, in this illustrated embodiment, wireless connectivity to, this embodiment a laptop device 18 and a UE comprising a mobile phone handset 20.

A standard 3GPP broadband interface 22 is provided for connectivity to a Femtocell gateway 24 which likewise, via a 3GPP standard interface 26, provides connectivity to an MSS circuit switched call 28 and a GSN packet call 30.

As illustrated, further connection is made within the call network to VAS 32, home location register/home subscriber server 34, PSTN 36, and mobile phone PDN 38.

Turning now to Fig.2, there is provided a flow diagram illustrating the cell reselection procedure in accordance with the current art.

The procedure commences at step 40 where the desired measurement quantity is selected as specified within the system information.

A particular neighbouring cell is chosen at 48 and a measurement quantity appUed at step 44. It is then determined at step 56 as to whether or not the cell chosen was the last in the list of neighbouring cells and, if not, the procedure returns via 48 to pick the next neighbouring cell against step 42.

If, however, at step 46 it was determined that the last of the possible neighbouring cells had been measured, then the procedure continues via 50 to

its conclusion at step 52.

The measurement quantity is therefore applied generally to all neighbouring cells irrespective of whether or not such measurement quantity might indeed be the most appropriate for each cell characteristic.

Turning now however to Fig.3 there is provided a flow diagram relating to an embodiment of the present invention.

Here, determination is illustrated at step 54 as to the type of cell, i.e. the characteristic of the cell concerned, that is whether, for example, the cell might be operating on the same frequency as the current serving macro cell or not.

If, at step 54 it is determined that the cell is operating on the same frequency, then the procedure continues via 58 to step 62 where the appropriate measurement quantity specified for intra frequency cell measurements as chosen and subsequently applied at step 64.

As with the procedure in Fig.2, it is then determined whether or not any further neighbouring cells are available for measurement, and, if they are, the procedure returns via 64 to step 54 where the type of cell is again determined.

If, however, initially at step 54 it is determined that the respective frequencies are different, then the procedure continues via 56 to step 60 where a measurement quantity specified for inter frequency cell measurement s chosen and subsequently applied at step 64.

Again, at step 60 it is determined whether or not a remaining cell exists in the neighbouring cell, and, if so, the procedure returns again via 68 to step 54.

If, however, for both measurements are estimated above, it is determined at step 66 that no further cell remained for measurement, then the procedure continues via 70 to its completion at step 72.

Thus, in this embodiment, and through the determination of the nature of the candidate cell for each selection, the actual measurement employed within the UE can be readily determined responsive to the cell-characteristic identification and so as to readily identification of a suitable candidate Femtocell in a far more responsive, and efficient, manner and can be achieved in accordance with the current art.

Relevance is now made to Fig.4 which is an illustration of an information element as currently employed within the signalling of the current art.

This information element 74 comprises a composite element which is employed, somewhat disadvantageously as noted in relation to Fig.2 irrespective of the cell characteristic and the most relevant measurement quantity that might be available.

Turning now by way of comparison to Fig.5, there is provided similar illustration of an information element arising in accordance with the signalling of the present invention.

Here, it would be appreciated that the information element has been divided into two separate parts 76, 78 which are arranged so as to have regard to each respective cell characteristic and relevant measurement quantity.

The control information can advantageously be employed with the relevant signalling so as to initiate an appropriate measurement and cell reselection procedure within the UE.

Turning lastly to Fig 6, there is provided a schematic illustration of a UE 80 arranged for operation in accordance with the present invention.

The UE 80 comprises standard casing 82 and antenna 84 which is connected to receive/transmit 86 which likewise is operatively connected to the processor at 88, and memory 90 functionality within the handset.

The processor 88 is provided with respective further functionality 100, 102 each of which provides for cell-selection measurements according to respective measurement quantities, each of which can be chosen and deployed in accordance with cell characteristics as determined for each candidate cell for reselection and in accordance with the procedures discussed above.

As will be appreciated, the present invention is advantageous insofar as it can offer a variety of operational characteristics.

These include, bur are not limited to specifying different measurement quantities for different types of neighbour cells, such as Intra and Inter Frequency Cells.

Using the above modification, Radio Networks can specify two Measurement Quantities for Neighbour Cells.

Radio Networks can associate each Measurement Quantity with one of the following types of cells, Intra Frequency and Inter Frequency.

From the above information, mobile Phone determines independently which measurement quantity to apply to which cell in the Neighbour Cell List, based on the cell type.

Mobile Phone applies one Measurement Quantity per cell, but could apply two different measurement quantities to a set of Neighbour Cells.

Also a change to the UE/Mobile-Phone Call Reselection procedures can be readily achieved to apply two different measurement quantities for, Le, one for Intra Frequency Cells and another for Inter Frequency Neighbour Cells.

Claims (27)

  1. Claims 1. A mobile radio communications device for use in a cellular network and arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell as required, the device being a arranged to employ one of a plurality of measurement qualities as part of a cell-reselection procedure, wherein the measurement quantity employed is selected responsive to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell, such that the device can employ different measurement quantities for different neighbouring cells.
  2. 2. A device as claimed in Claim 1 and arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell comprising a Femtocell or macro cell.
  3. 3. A device as claimed in Claim I or 2, wherein the measurement quantity comprises received signal power code.
  4. 4. A device as claimed in Claim I or 2, wherein the measurement quantity comprises the Ec/No ratio.
  5. 5. A device as claimed in any one or more of the preceding claims and wherein the said characteristic comprises operational frequency of each cell.
  6. 6. A device as claimed in any one or more of the preceding claims and arranged such that the said one of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed subsequent to receipt of respective signal for each respective characteristic.
  7. 7, A device as claimed in Claim 6, wherein the said signalling can comprise an information block or information element.
  8. 8. A cell-reselection method for use in a cellular network and including the step of initiating one of a plurality of measurement quantities for controlling reselection to a neighbouring cell, the measurement quantity employed being selected is responsive to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell so as to allow for the use of different measurement quantities for different neighbouring cells.
  9. 9. A method as claimed in Claim 8 and arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell comprising a Femtocell,
  10. 10.. A method as claimed in Claim 8 or 9, wherein the measurement quantity comprises received signal power code.
  11. 11, A method as claimed in Claim 1 or 2, wherein the measurement quantity comprises the Ec/No ratio.
  12. 12. A method as claimed in any one or more of Claims 8 to 11, and wherein the said characteristic comprises operational frequency of each cell.
  13. 13. A device as claimed in any one or more of Claims 8 to 12 and arranged such that the said one of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed subsequent to receipt of respective signal for each respective characteristic.
  14. 14. A method as claimed in Claim 13, wherein the said signalling can comprise an information block or information element.
  15. 15. A cellular communications network device arranged for communication within a mobile radio communications device within the network and for reselection of the mobile radio communication device to a neighbouring cell as required, the network device being arranged to provide control signalling to the mobile radio communications device to determine which of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed as part of a cell reselection procedure and having regard to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell such that the mobile radio communications device can employ different measurement quantities for different neighbouring cells.
  16. 16. A device as claimed in Claim 15, and arranged for reselection to a neighbouring cell comprising a Femtocell.
  17. 17. A device as claimed in Claim 15 or 16, wherein the measurement quantity comprises received signal power code.
  18. 18. A device as claimed in Claim 15 or 16, wherein the measurement quantity comprises the Ec/No ratio.
  19. 19. A device as claimed in any one or more of Claims 15 to 18 and wherein the said characteristic comprises operational frequency of each cell.
  20. 20. A device as claimed in any one or more of Claims 15 to 19, and arranged such that the said one of a plurality of measurement quantities is employed subsequent to receipt of respective signal for each respective characteristic.
  21. 21. A device as claimed in C'aim 20, wherein the said signalling can comprise an information block or information element.
  22. 22. A signalling message for cell reselection of a mobile radio communications device to a neighbouring cell in a cellular network, the message being arranged for delivery to the mobile radio communications device to initiate use of a measurement quantity as part of the reselection procedure having regard to a characteristic of the said neighbouring cell, wherein the signalling message includes separate discrete portions for each different characteristic.
  23. 23. A signalling message as claimed in Claim 22 and comprising an information block or an information element.
  24. 24. A mobile radio communications device substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to, and as illustrated in Fig 6 of the accompanying drawings.
  25. 25. A radio communications network device substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to Fig 3,5 and 6 of the accompanying drawings.
  26. 26. A cell reselection method substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to, and as illustrated In FIg 3 of the accompanying drawings.
  27. 27. A signalling message substantially as herelnbefore described with reference to, and as Illustrated in, Fig 5 of the accompanying drawings.
GB0819155A 2008-10-20 2008-10-20 Control of handoff / cell re-selection in a mobile radio network Withdrawn GB2464519A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0819155A GB2464519A (en) 2008-10-20 2008-10-20 Control of handoff / cell re-selection in a mobile radio network

Applications Claiming Priority (6)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0819155A GB2464519A (en) 2008-10-20 2008-10-20 Control of handoff / cell re-selection in a mobile radio network
EP09822094.0A EP2347621A4 (en) 2008-10-20 2009-10-19 Cell reselection method and apparatus
CN200980141728.3A CN102187710B (en) 2008-10-20 2009-10-19 Cell reselection method and apparatus
US13/125,053 US8682324B2 (en) 2008-10-20 2009-10-19 Cell reselection method and apparatus
PCT/JP2009/068291 WO2010047397A1 (en) 2008-10-20 2009-10-19 Cell reselection method and apparatus
JP2011516910A JP5527318B2 (en) 2008-10-20 2009-10-19 Cell reselection method and apparatus

Publications (2)

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GB0819155D0 GB0819155D0 (en) 2008-11-26
GB2464519A true GB2464519A (en) 2010-04-21

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GB0819155A Withdrawn GB2464519A (en) 2008-10-20 2008-10-20 Control of handoff / cell re-selection in a mobile radio network

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US (1) US8682324B2 (en)
EP (1) EP2347621A4 (en)
JP (1) JP5527318B2 (en)
CN (1) CN102187710B (en)
GB (1) GB2464519A (en)
WO (1) WO2010047397A1 (en)

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Publication number Publication date
EP2347621A4 (en) 2014-07-23
US20110263261A1 (en) 2011-10-27
CN102187710A (en) 2011-09-14
WO2010047397A1 (en) 2010-04-29
US8682324B2 (en) 2014-03-25
JP2012506165A (en) 2012-03-08
CN102187710B (en) 2015-05-13
GB0819155D0 (en) 2008-11-26
EP2347621A1 (en) 2011-07-27
JP5527318B2 (en) 2014-06-18

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